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Thursday, March 20

Only in the Philippines: A "Holy Week" to Remember

So what is Holy Week like in the Philippines? Filipinos have had strong faith in God. They not only regularly pray to God but they also do some rituals and practices which others may think as inappropriate. Just like this video.




If you will be checking out Youtube and type "Holy Week Pampanga" you will have a list of similar videos. As I have been reading the comments and messages of people around the world, others say that this is a crazy thing to do. Well, I do respect your opinion on that one. But these people have reasons why they do these acts. Who are we to question their faith. As long as they are not hurting other people, I think they do deserve some respect to.


I have been living here in the Philippines all years of my life and I have been exposed to these rituals called "Flagellation" during Holy Week. They call these in our language as "Panata." I thought back then that its a normal practice. Well, I'm not saying that I've done such rituals but we Filipinos really do have some unique ways of expressing our faith in God. Some do some Novena, Station of the Cross, pray the Holy Rosary and even Visita Iglesia.

About Station of the Cross
According to Dennis Bratcher "The Stations of the Cross has two related meanings. In one sense, the Stations of the Cross refers to the liturgical practice of using various events in the final hours of Jesus’ life as a structure for prayer and meditation (also called the Via Crucis or Way of the Cross). These events encompass Jesus’ journey carrying his cross from the Hall of Pilate where he was condemned to death to the site of his execution on Golgotha (Calvary)." To get more info about The Station of the Cross visit his site at : http://www.crivoice.org/stations.html

About Visita Iglesia
Visita Iglesia is a practice done by Christians during Holy Thursday where they visit Seven Churches. So why do they do this? Here is the answer I got from "The Catholic Herald"

"The custom goes back to the early Church when Christians would visit the seven great basilicas in Rome for adoration of the blessed sacrament after the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. The sacramentary, the official altar book of the Church, says that after this Mass, "The faithful should be encouraged to continue adoration before the blessed sacrament for a suitable period of time during the night, according to local circumstances, but there should be no solemn adoration after midnight.

Visita Iglesia is a practice in cities, where there are many churches, in countries as diverse as Malta, Poland, Ireland and The Philippines. Filipinos have brought it to places in North America that never had it before."

But bottom line is Holy week is time for us to reflect and repent.... Its doesnt matter how we do it... but whats important is that we give time to glorify God for the great sacrifice He has done for all of us.

Make your Holy Week significant to Our Father.

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